[whatwg] "content" element, which we need in our documents

Ian Yang ian.html at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 01:49:53 PDT 2012

Hi editors in chief and everyone else,

How have you been recently?

As many of you may have been aware that there is an important sectioning
element we have been short of for a long time: the "content" element.

Remember how we sectioned our documents in those old days? It's the
meaningless <div>s. We used them and added id="header", id="content",
id="sidebar", and id="footer" to them.

After HTML5 came out, we started to have new and semantic elements like
"header", "aside", and "footer" to improve our documents.

However, today, we are still using the meaningless <div> for our content.

The main content forms an important region. And we often wrap it with an
element. By doing so, we distinguish the region from the header and the
footer, and also prevent all of its child elements (block level or inline
level) being incorrectly at the same level as the header and the footer.

In the first example of the intro section of the nav element in HTML5 Spec
( http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html#the-nav-element ) (the page
takes a while to be fully loaded), the bottom note states: "Notice the div
elements being used to wrap all the contents of the page other than the
header and footer, and all the contents of the blog entry other than its
header and footer."

This example mentioned above is a typical situation that we need an element
for the main content. So instead of keep wrapping our contents with the
meaningless <div>, why not let the "content" element join HTML5?

Ian Yang
Meaningful and semantic HTML lover  |  Front-end developer

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